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Um, no

Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

* Let’s once again go back to the Illinois statute book

A monetary contribution to a political committee is deemed to have been received on the date the contribution was deposited in a bank, financial institution or other repository of funds for the committee.

Emphasis added.

* With that in mind

In her final days as state senator, Toi Hutchinson collected $9,000 from special interests, though it’s unclear why.

Last weekend, Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, resigned after serving a decade as state senator for the 40th District, which includes Kankakee County. She now is working in the Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration coordinating the state’s efforts for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Hutchinson announced her resignation about three weeks before she collected the campaign money, which is listed on the state Board of Elections website.

On Oct. 19, she received $5,000 from the Illinois Laborers Legislative Committee, $2,000 from the Illinois Bank Political Action Committee and $1,000 each from MillerCoors and Comcast, according to her report.

Under state law, candidates must report their donations of $1,000 or more within five business days.

* I checked in with former Sen. Hutchinson’s campaign treasurer…

The amount was about $9,800, and it was posted before Senator Hutchinson resigned. Most of the donations were from August and then remainders from her golf outing, which was on September 9. Because we aren’t in campaign mode we weren’t regularly checking the P.O. Box.

The plan is to settle accounts and close down shop. She is not taking any more donations and will spend down according to what’s allowable by state law.

The reporter apparently didn’t understand the law, so he didn’t call around to see when the contributions were actually made or received. He looked at the deposit dates (plus up to five business days) and wrongly assumed those were receipt dates, although he told me he checked in with the State Board of Elections and blamed them for giving him bad info. The Laborers told me they sent their check around the time of her September 9th golf outing in Olympia Fields.

* I reached out to the reporter over the weekend to give him a heads up and he deleted the “Under state law, candidates must report their donations of $1,000 or more within five business days” line from his story. But the rest of the piece is still wrong.

We can debate the merits of the law as it stands. Some committees are so small that requiring immediate disclosure would be way too onerous. Larger committees could and perhaps should have more stringent reporting requirements. But a simpler and still effective fix would be to require all campaigns to note the date on the checks in their online filings. Nobody can credibly complain that such a rule would be too much to deal with.

We all make mistakes, but, for now, the law is what it is and it’s up to people who do this for a living to know what it says.

* Meanwhile

The politically connected son of a onetime powerful lawmaker was tapped to fill out the remaining term of Toi Hutchison, the Olympia Fields state senator who was named “cannabis czar” to oversee the Jan. 1 rollout of legalized recreational marijuana in the state. Democratic party bosses tapped Patrick Joyce, 57, of Essex — the son of the late former state Sen. Jerome Joyce — who beat out three women competing for the job

From the K3 paper

The other candidates were Chicago Heights City Clerk Lori Wilcox, Momence’s Marta Perales and Monica Gordon, executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.

At a public meeting at Kankakee Community College, all four candidates spoke before the committee and took questions. Then the committee members, including Kankakee County Democratic Chairman John Willard, deliberated in private for 40 minutes before announcing their choice.

During questioning, Perales and Gordon pledged to run in the Democratic primary in March regardless of who the committee picked. Wilcox said afterward she had not decided yet.

Joyce promised to build relationships with residents in the northern part of the 40th Senate District. His father, Jerry, a 17-year state senator, died in June.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - K3 - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    This is what happens when you have a guy who thinks he’s going to win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting working at the Kankakee Daily Journal.


  2. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    From his IPI (where he used to work) bio:

    “In his investigative work at the Illinois Policy Institute, [the reporter] aims to apply the words of native son Ronald Reagan:’Trust, but verify.’”

    D’oh. He forgot that verify part. Easier to do if you perhaps you have a particular ideological disposition that informs your reporting.


  3. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    I really don’t know the answer to this, but how does Illinois compare to other states when it comes to “political nepotism,” by which I mean that certain political offices seem to stay within the same family? TIA.


  4. - Father Ted - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    I used to work pretty regularly with reporters and it was astonishing how often some of them would push back when presented with concrete proof that they had gotten their story wrong. It has always made me wonder if they were wrong about this story, how often it was happening with others?


  5. - Benjamin - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    ===the words of native son Ronald Reagan: ‘Trust, but verify.’===

    So, in this instance, “Distrust, don’t bother to verify.”


  6. - City Zen - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    ==Laborers told me they sent their check around the time of her September 9th golf outing==

    Labor PACs do love their golf outings.


  7. - John Lopez - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 11:11 am:

    Maybe Illinois should ban filling elective office vacancies by political party officers and require a special election within 120 days after a vacancy takes place.

    It’s done that way for Congress.


  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    ===require a special election within 120 days after a vacancy takes place===

    120 days after Arroyo’s resignation would be February 29th. Primary is March 17th.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    ===require a special election within 120 days after a vacancy takes place===

    “… unless the next regular election is within 90 days of the special election, then the special election WILL take place at the same time the next election occurs, happening concurrently.”


  10. - Downstate Dem - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    Regarding reporting dates for contributions, it might not work to go by the date on the check. Sometimes, the check is received weeks after it is dated.


  11. - JoanP - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    =In his investigative work at the Illinois Policy Institute=

    That says it all.


  12. - bored now - Tuesday, Nov 12, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    G’Kar asks: “how does Illinois compare to other states when it comes to “political nepotism,” by which I mean that certain political offices seem to stay within the same family?”

    so this is kind of a difficult question to answer to the degree i think you intend. there are several factors that account for this. first of all, state laws are different. secondly, the reform response to vacancies has traditionally been snap elections, but that just makes it easier for family members to win vacant seats (easier access to money, staff and consultants; existing name recognition; etc). family members tend to know when a vacancy is coming up, so there are advantages there, as well. this does not change, regardless of state laws.

    furthermore, politics can run in families — it’s a family business. this is true everywhere. kids campaign for their parents, raise money for them, organize for them, show them all the kool tools the kids are using nowadays. that isn’t so nefarious.

    in politics, everything seems to be a trade-off. i believe i recall seeing that family connections matter less to states that have not been states for as long. so while illinois stands out because the rules/law lend themselves to family following a vacancy (especially, eg, in the case of lipinski), my experience has been that it isn’t significantly greater than other states, when you factor everything else in.

    i think where the illinois difference stands out is when people from outside the political field (eg, lipinski) follow their parents. where this is quite common in deaths, you won’t find the kind of hand-me downs to people who weren’t actively involved in politics beforehand like you could in illinois’ political history. hth…


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